This is just my vision of a typical start to a game this year, after the terrible start the Dodgers had last year.
"All I have to do is get by Kemp, and keep the cheap singles to a minimum."
He watches Kershaw throwing his last warm up pitches. "This kid looks pretty good. Relaxed and throwing easy. Looks hittable to me."
The game starts. Kershaw retires the side 1-2-3, striking out two.
The pitcher goes to the mound, warms up and waits for the first batter. "Oh, here comes that skinny kid, Gordon. His dad was a good pitcher for a long time. Should have taught his kid to pitch. looks like he could use a meal." He thinks. "First year in the Bigs. I'll give him a taste of The Show."
First pitch: Fastball on the hands. The kid swings, high chopper to short. "That pitch got him." The pitcher thinks. The shortstop charges the ball, fields it and fires to first. By the time it gets to the first baseman, Dee is five feet past the bag. Safe.
"That kid is really fast. I'll get him next time. Make him hit it in the air."
"OK, here comes Ellis. This guy's been with the A's for so long, playing in that cavern in Oakland, that he probably only knows to turn right when he gets to first."
The pitcher starts from the stretch, and as he throws the first pitch, Gordon, leading off from first, takes off toward second base. The catcher catches the pitch, sets, throws. Dee is safe by about half a second.
"I gotta start using that slide step when he's on base!"
Next pitch: Slider down and in. Ellis turn on it and hits a sharp ground ball through the hole on the right side. The right fielder charges, fields it cleanly and fires the ball home. Dee slides safely past the catcher, who is still waiting for the ball. 1-0, runner on first.
"I guess he's seen Lopes at first, and would rather turn left than face that glare."
"Uh-oh. Here comes that Almost-MVP guy. Says he's going to go 50-50 this year. Well, he's not gonna get me."
The pitcher lets go of the first pitch, and he regrets throwing it. Inside corner, about thigh high. As the pitcher turns to watch the majestic high arching flight of the ball, He thinks: "That ball might hit low flying aircraft." The ball sails out into the left field pavilion. about halfway up the bleachers. 3-0, bases empty.
"He got lucky."
"OK. Settle down. Gotta get this next guy, Ethier. Sucker for a slider on the outside corner."
The pitcher throws one on the outside corner, Ethier swings feebly at it. 0 and 1. Next pitch: not quite as good, but still down, but not quite as far away. The pitcher snaps his head to the left, so he can follow the line drive all the way to the right-center field wall. As the center fielder runs after the ricochet off the wall, Dre is pulling up at second.
"I guess he's recovered from that leg injury, huh?"
"OK. Here comes Loney. This guy is lucky to be in the majors, Playing a power position with no power. And now he's hitting bloopers to left, 'cause he can't get around on the fastball."
The pitcher jams a fastball in on the hands. Jim turns on it, and it's a wicked line drive down the right field line, just fair, into the corner. Dre scores easily, and Loney is into second standing. 4-0, still nobody out.
As the pitcher waits for the manager to come and take him out, he thinks....
"Who are these guys? The '27 Yankees? And why are they in my league?"